Following the announcement back in October that it was ready to manufacture one million set-top boxes locally for its DTH system in 2012, DirecTV has said it has since assembled 70,000 units in the Argentine island of Tierra del Fuego.
The satellite TV operator's investment plans announced in October, which amounted to US$10 million, were expected to create 100 new jobs. Now, DirecTV has confirmed that it has upped its planned STB production volume for 2012 to 1.2 million units.
Of the first batch of 70,000 boxes manufactured in Patagonia, 10,000 have already been installed in subscribers' homes.
The announcement came following a meeting between company executives and two top government officials: the vice-president of Argentina, Amado Boudou (currently serving as Chief of State while President Cristina Fernández recovers from her thyroid operation) and the minister of industry, Débora Giorgi.
In a statement, the Ministry of Industry stressed that Argentina is the first country in Latin America where DirecTV has begun producing its own set-top boxes.
Tierra del Fuego enjoys a Special Economic Zone status, which offers a series of tax incentives for manufacturers of consumer electronics products that set up industrial facilities in the Argentine province. Boudou said the production of DirecTV's set-top boxes was a direct consequence of a national policy designed to substitute imported industrial goods.
"We are proud that DirecTV Argentina keeps on growing as it becomes a key player in the region," said Manuel Abelleyra, the DTH operator's head for Argentina and Uruguay. "Thanks to Argentine talent, the company is consolidating its presence within both the local and Latin American pay-TV markets."